Wired Connections


USB stands for Universal Serial Bus. There are 4 different types of USB -

Standard Type A

Standard Type B



Standard Type A is what you use to plug in peripherals like keyboards and mice.

Standard Type B is what you use to plug in peripherals like printers and scanners.

Mini was used for smaller devices like mobile phones and digital cameras that cannot fit a bigger standard USB on to the device.

Micro is newer than mini and it is even smaller than mini and it is the new standard for smartphones, tablets, digital cameras so it eliminates the need for mini.

There have also been three main versions of USB -

USB 1.0

USB 2.0

USB 3.0

USB 1.0 was the first version of USB and now has been replaced by USB 2.0. It was first available in January 1996.

USB 2.0 is the most popular version of USB at the minute. It replaced USB 1.0 in April 2000.

USB 3.0 is the newest and latest version of USB and to recognize a USB 3.0 cable look for blue on the cable. It is available from November 2008.

There are 4 different of speeds -

Low bandwidth - 1.5 mbits/s (187 kb/s) - USB 1.0

Full bandwidth - 12 mbits/s (1.5 mb/s) - USB 1.0

Hi-speed bandwidth - 480 mbits/s (60 mb/s) - USB 2.0

Super speed bandwidth - 5 gbits/s (600 mb/s) - USB 3.0


- It is a standard which means most computers have USB so you can plug in any peripheral and it will work without having to buy anything.

- With USB 3.0 it has a very fast transfer speed.

- It can be used on a variety of devices.


- It can't travel that far the signalling strength is 5 meters.


HDMI stands for High Definition Multimedia Interface. There are 5 different types of HDMI -

Type A - Standard

Type B - Extended

Type C - Mini

Type D - Micro

Type E

Type A Standard is the original HDMI connector that is used with HDTVs.

Type B Extended is a bit bigger than Type A but isn't in use.

Type C Mini is smaller than Type A and is commonly used for connecting your camcorder to your hdtv.

Type D Micro is even smaller than Type C and is commonly used to connect your smartphone to your hdtv.

Type E is designed for cars and it can send hd video to the vehicle dashboard or a car seat back display.

There has also been 4 main versions of HDMI -

HDMI 1.0-1.2

HDMI 1.3

HDMI 1.4

HDMI 2.0

HDMI 1.0-1.2 was the first version of HDMI and it was released December 9th 2002.

HDMI 1.3 was the next version of HDMI and the main difference was it has a faster speed, it was released June 22 2006.

HDMI 1.4 supports 4k resolution which is the same as what is in a digital theater, it was released May 29 2009

HDMI 2.0 is still in development and it expected to be released in late 2012.

There are two main speeds -

Standard HDMI

High Speed HDMI

Standard HDMI is 2.25 Gbps (75 Mhz) it can support 720i/720p/1080i

High Speed HDMI is 10.2 Gbps (3o Mhz) it can support 1080p


- One cable does it all it can transmit crystal-clear digital video, multi-channel surround sound and advanced control data through a single cable.

- 1080p and beyond it is designed for 1080p and when technology advances it can support higher resolutions so you won't have to replace your cables.

- It can detect your resolution of your devices, if you have a dvd player that can support up to 720p it will show it in 720p and if you have a blu-ray player that supports 1080p it will show it in 1080p.


- They can be expensive.

- The distance for standard is 35 meters and for high speed is 10 meters.


Thunderbolt is a new connection interface made by Apple and Intel and released in 2011 on the Macbook Pro lineup.

The speed for Thunderbolt is 10 Gbps which is the fastest speed for a connection out on the market right now.

You can use Thunderbolt to connect monitors, portable hard drives etc.


- Fast transfer speed

- Backwards compatible


- Not many devices support Thunderbolt yet

- Cost, not a lot of computers have Thunderbolt and if you want thunderbolt you would have to buy a thunderbolt card for your computer.


Firewire is a fairly old connection interface released back in 1995. There are 2 main types of Firewire -

Firewire 400

Firewire 800

Firewire can be used to connect audio and video like cameras and camcorders, it can also be used for networking.

The speed for Firewire 400 is 400 Mbps and the speed for Firewire 800 is 800 Mbps.

Firewire is also being replaced by Thunderbolt on new Macs since Thunderbolt has faster speeds.


- Can connect multiple devices


- Slower speed than USB & Thunderbolt


Serial ATA stands for Serial Advanced Technology Attachment. It replaced Parallel ATA. It is used to connect components inside of a computer like a hard drive or a SSD.

There are 3 main versions of SATA -

SATA 1.0 - 1.5 Gbits/s (150 mb/s)

SATA 2.0 - 3 Gbits/s {300 mb/s)

SATA 3.0-3.2 - 6/8/16 Gbits/s (600 mb/s)


- Faster transfer rate than Parallel ATA.

- Easier cable management because Parallel ATA has thicker cables. Serial ATA has thinner cables.

- Support for more drives Parallel ATA could only have 2, Serial ATA can have up to 6.


- One drive per cable Parallel ATA could have 2 drives for cable Serial ATA can only have one.

- Drivers may be needed for it to work.